Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Saponaria ocymoides
rock soapwort

Distribution: Occurring in scattered locations on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California; also in scattered states in the central and eastern U.S.

Habitat: Old gardens, waste sites and rocky places.

Flowers: June-July

Origin: Introduced from Europe

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Rhizomatous perennial with over-wintering leafy shoots, the stems procumbent, much-branched, 5-25 cm. tall.


Leaves opposite, the petiole 0.5-1 cm. long, not winged; blades 1-veined, spatulate to ovate-lanceolate, 0.6-2.5 cm. long and 0.3-1.4 cm. wide.


Inflorescence a spreading, lax cyme; pedicles 2-6 mm. long; calyx united into a tube 7-12 mm. long, purple, oblong-cylindric, glandular-pubescent; petals 5, red to pink or white, 8-15 mm. long, clawed; stamens 10, attached to the petals; styles 2, filiform, 12-15 mm. long.


Capsules cylindric to ovoid, 6-8 mm. long, opening by 4 teeth.

Accepted Name:
Saponaria ocymoides L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 409. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Saponaria ocymoides in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Saponaria ocymoides checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Saponaria ocymoides information.

E-Flora BC: Saponaria ocymoides atlas page.

CalPhotos: Saponaria ocymoides photos.

USDA Plants: Saponaria ocymoides information.

3 photographs:
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